It appears that the National Union of Journalists is the first TUC union to warn that Integrated Care Systems represent a ‘double threat to accountability’ and to call for any statutory ICS bodies to exclude private sector organisations and be compelled to meet in public and publish board papers.
The NUJ motion carried at its online conference on May 21-22, was reported on the NUJ’s website:
‘Delegates were told that a government White Paper, Integration and Innovation: working together improve health and social care for all, was a real threat to the NHS. Paul Felton, Birmingham and Coventry, said: “This will be complex and difficult to follow. It will create 42 Integrated Care Systems, but it seems these will be unaccountable bodies. Will they respond to FOI requests? We don’t know. But we do know the White Paper will herald further privatisation in the health service.”
Anna Wagstaff, Oxford & District branch, said journalists had a responsibility to pick up the issue of the proposed changes:
“The NHS is our most important institution. It’s with us from cradle to grave. We think it is ours and will always be there. But that’s not true. That’s why we should be out explaining and campaigning.”
Delegates voted to support and publicise the work of Health Campaigns Together and Keep Our NHS Public and its unofficial online People’s Covid Inquiry chaired by Michael Mansfield QC which has started to take evidence from academics, health professionals and organisations representing bereaved relatives.
The NEC was instructed to circulate information to branches on the campaign and encourage them to make donations and publicise the report when it is published.’
The question is of course, what are all the other Trade Unions doing to highlight the threat to the NHS and specifically the ICS Boards having private healthcare companies such as Virgincare and Medvivo, the private company supplying out of hours GP services and urgent care.
Source: NUJ / unionsafety